London — Britain's Crown Prosecution Service says it has authorized charges against actor Kevin Spacey for four counts of sexual assault against three men, the service said in a statement on Thursday. He was also facing a fifth count, of "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent," relating to one of the three men. The statement from prosecutors was a change from earlier in the day, when they said he had been charged.
"It is understood he has not been formally charged as he is not in the country," BBC News reported.
The first two alleged assaults took place in London in March 2005 against the same man, who is now in his 40s. The third alleged assault and the charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent relate to an incident that took place in August 2008 in London, against a separate man who is now in his 30s. A fourth alleged assault took place against a third man, who is now in his 30s, in Gloucestershire in 2013.
"The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial," the CPS said in a statement, urging that there be "no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."
In 2017, after American actor Anthony Rapp alleged that, when he was 14, Spacey had climbed on top of him in a bed, numerous allegations of assault and inappropriate behavior were made against Spacey.
The Old Vic theater in London, where Spacey was the artistic director for 11 years until 2015, said two years after his departure that during its own investigation into his conduct, it receivedand encouraged 14 of the people who made the allegations to go to the police.
Those allegations covered interactions between 1995 and 2013, all of them dealing with men. The alleged incidents ranged from behavior that made people feel uncomfortable, to "sexually inappropriate" touching, but there were no allegations of rape reported by the theater.
In 2019, prosecutors in Massachusettsagainst Spacey, who had faced a felony charge of indecent assault and battery. The district attorney said he was dropping the case "due to the unavailability of the complaining witness."
Spacey was accused of groping a then 18-year-old at a bar three years earlier. The accuser said Spacey bought him several alcoholic drinks and then groped him.
Editor's note: This story and the headline have been updated.
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